Thursday, October 4, 2007
The Altar and the Door new album news.
Dove and GRAMMY Award-winning band Casting Crowns made an impressive and historical No. 2 debut on The Billboard 200, the chart of the top-selling CDs for the week ending Sept. 2 according to Nielsen SoundScan. Casting Crowns’ new release The Altar and The Door sold 129,000 copies, selling just below the juggernaut High School Musical 2 soundtrack. The Altar and The Door, which is the group's third studio album and surpasses its previous Billboard chart high at No. 9 with Lifesong (71,000) in 2005, scored the No. 2 position and the week’s highest debut without mainstream radio or TV exposure.
The sales success is no surprise to those in the Christian/gospel community who have supported Casting Crowns’ first two CDs Casting Crowns (2003) and Lifesong (2005) by making them back-to-back RIAA-certified Platinum sellers, radio hitmakers and touring favorites. The Atlanta-based band has won multiple Dove Awards, gospel music’s highest honor, including three for Group of the Year. Mark Hall, frontman and primary songwriter, has also earned two Dove Awards for Songwriter of the Year.
“Casting Crowns is in great company, coming in second only to High School Musical 2 on The Billboard 200, suggesting perhaps that the music buying audience has an appetite for music that is family-friendly, and in Castings Crowns’ case, faith affirming. That is great news, not only for our business, but also for our culture,” said John W. Styll, president of the Christian Music Trade Association (CMTA).
Styll noted that the success of Casting Crowns is particularly remarkable because it has happened thanks primarily to the Christian subculture which has embraced the band’s bold affirmation of faith.
The band joins artists like Chris Tomlin, Third Day, TobyMac and Steven Curtis Chapman who have sold millions of units without the benefit of significant mainstream radio airplay or other general market awareness. “And yet, Casting Crowns’ album does not promote isolation from the mainstream culture. In fact, at the heart of The Altar and The Door, is the theme of Christianity’s command that faith needs to be lived both in the church at the altar and outside the doors of the church,” Styll added.
The Altar and The Door’s first week sales make it the fourth highest debut in terms of units sold for a Christian/gospel record since Nielsen SoundScan began counting sales at Christian retail in 1996. Switchfoot’s 2005 Nothing is Sound (131,000), P.O.D.’s 2001 Satellite (133,000) and Leann Rimes’ 1997 You Light Up My Life (186,000) are the only albums that have sold more units in their first weeks. It is the third album to debut on The Billboard 200 as one of the top two albums along with Rimes’ You Light Up My Life which debuted at No. 1 and Underoath’s Define the Great Line, which also debuted at No. 2 in 2006 (but with fewer units sold).
HSM2 Casts Off Casting Crownsby David Jenison
Watch out Broadway, High School Musical's on an extended run.
Just as kids head back to school, the High School Musical 2 soundtrack becomes the first album in a year and a half to spend three weeks at number one. For the week ended Sunday, HSM2 accomplished this feat selling another 209,000 copies, according to the latest SoundScan numbers.
While albums like Dreamgirls, Daughtry, Now! 25 and Hannah Montana spent a pair of weeks at number one, HSM2 is the first to score a trey since Rascal Flatts' Me & My Gang in April of '06.
The soundtrack's three-week run now checks in at nearly 1.2 million copies, though the latest chart featured no less than four Top 10 challengers.
Christian rock's hottest act, Casting Crowns, led the new debuts with their third studio album, Altar and the Door, selling 129,000 copies at number two. The Grammy-winning group previously opened at nine with 2005's Lifesong, which has since gone platinum like its self-titled predecessor.
Crowns' hometown, Atlanta, also claims the week's number three bow, Yung Joc's Hustlenomics. The Peach State rapper, who also opened at three with last year's New Joc City, sold 60,000 copies of his sophomore disc.
Though already ruling the chart with his Disney Channel soundtrack, Mickey can put another feather in his cap for Atreyu, an O.C. metal act on Disney's Hollywood label, which sold 43,000 copies of Lead Sails Paper Anchor at eight.
The ever-prolific Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals landed the fourth and final Top 10 bow with Lifeline, which sold 41,000 copies at nine. Lifeline is the group's eighth studio album in 13 years.
As with the top spot, the rest of the Top 10 are familiar faces: Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus at four, Fergie's The Dutchess at five, the Hairspray soundtrack at six and Now That's What I Call Music! 25 at seven. Nickelback closed out the Top 10 at ten with All the Right Reasons, which celebrated its 100th week on the charts this week.
Lyle Lovett came up big – make that large – at 18 selling 25,000 copies of It's Not Big It's Large. Christian rockers MercyMe followed at 43 with Coming Up to Breathe selling 15,000 copies.
Other noteworthy debuts included the Kottonmouth Kings' Cloud Nine at 44, Aesop Rock's None Shall Pass at 50, Caedmon's Call's Overdressed at 54, Point of Grace's How You Live at 56, Shane & Shane's Pages at 66, Ledisi's Lost & Found at 78 and Scary Kids Scaring Kids' self-titled at 80.
To recap, the week's Top 10 albums are as follows:
- High School Musical 2 soundtrack, various
- Altar and the Door, Casting Crowns
- Hustlenomics, Yung Joc
- Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus, Miley Cyrus
- The Dutchess, Fergie
- Hairspray soundtrack, various
- Now That's What I Call Music! 25, various
- Lead Sails Paper Anchor, Atreyu
- Lifeline, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
- All the Right Reasons, Nickelback